How to Work With a Kitchen Designer

A group of Kitchen Designers looking at tiles in a store.

Starting a kitchen remodel, but never worked with a kitchen designer before? Finding a kitchen designer that you mesh with is a wonderful way for you to ensure that your kitchen dreams come true. But how do you start?

Working with a kitchen designer means that your next home renovation will be seamless, offering you a high-quality finished project. From the best questions to ask a designer, to creating a timeline, we’ve outlined the most important things to keep in mind while working with building professionals. To learn more about how to work with kitchen designers, plus the benefits of having one, keep reading. 

Choosing a Kitchen Designer 

Know the difference between designers. Not every kitchen designer is going to be right for your project since they may all have different areas of expertise. Some kitchen designers specialize in custom cabinets, while others might specialize in countertops or flooring. You can likely connect with  kitchen designers if you order your materials through a chain store, that can help you plan out your project. 

However, if you reach out through a local business, you might get more objective opinions on materials. They can also be more hands-on and personable. The best advice is to visit showrooms and ask to see examples of the designer’s previous work. This is helpful if you’re choosing to go with an independent company and not a chain as you might get to see more creative and original examples that really inspire you. 

A group of Kitchen Designers looking at a tablet in a kitchen.

Review Your Home and Make a Budget 

Take stock of your kitchen and figure out exactly what you want changed. If you’re looking at just upgrading your kitchen cabinets and that’s it, then you’ll want to find a business that specializes in custom kitchen cabinets. It’s a good idea to take pictures of your kitchen to show your designer so they have easy access to references. This is also great for you so you can keep track of the progress made. 

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If you’re looking to have your whole kitchen remodeled, not just the cabinets, you’ll want to plan for that in your budget. You’ll want to be prepared to share all this information with the designer during the consultation process, so they know what they’re getting into. This will also help them better manage your expectations, since they can tell you all the things you’ll be able to do within the budget. 

Make a List of Questions 

When you think you’ve found a handful of kitchen designers that you want to work with, you can narrow them down by asking them a prepared list of questions. Some of the best questions to ask a designer include: 

What’s your design style and does it match mine?

Some designers will ask you to show them pictures of kitchens that you want to emulate. The designer can then offer examples of previous work they’ve done within that realm, or tell you if anything is outside of their capabilities. Mood boards and color palettes also help.

How much can I customize?

Before you choose a designer, you’ll want to be aware of how much of the design is actually in your control. Say, for example, you want to customize higher-positioned cabinets so that the interior shelves can be pulled down to eye level. Or say that you need all your lower level storage units to be pull-out drawers. Some designers might not be able to offer this.

How often will we communicate?

Your kitchen designer should be easy to get in touch with and easy to communicate with. If they’re trying to make your kitchen dreams come true, they’ll offer ways for you to contact them if you have any questions, and offer to set up meetings with you. 

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It’s best to think about all the questions that you have and write them down in an email so that the designer can respond to all of them in one go. Of course, you can always follow up with further questions if you have them, but to make the process flow more smoothly, it’s best to share them all at once. Also, having everything in writing keeps everyone organized and up to date. 

Set a Timeline, But Stay Flexible

It’s important to have a schedule laid out so that everyone can stay on task and expectations are managed. Planning for back and forth meetings, delays and mistakes are just as important as planning an end date. Designers may spot some issues with the initial design or certain things you didn’t want to compromise on. They may also offer different solutions you never thought about before, changing your plans entirely. 

Also, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been shipping delays and shortages across the industry. It’s important that you account for this while you’re working with your designer so you’re both able to manage expectations. It’s better to play it safe and order materials or products in advance so that you’re not stuck waiting for them to arrive. It’s also better to extend your timeline to account for delays, sick days, or closures. 

Plan Your Dream Kitchen 

Kitchen designers are there to help you make your dreams a reality. They offer support, advice, and professional consultations so you’re happy with the finished product. As long as you come with inspiration, the right questions, and a flexible timeline, working with a designer will be a breeze. 

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If you’re looking to include custom kitchen cabinets in your home renovation, custom kitchen cabinet makers have designers that are more than happy to help you on your journey. They’re able to bring creativity and expertise to the table so that your new kitchen redesign is cohesive and unique, suiting your lifestyle. 

Builders Cabinet is a cabinet maker and supplier, offering both custom and semi-custom cabinets. If you’re interested in starting your project or have any questions, reach out to them today.

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